• Countryside Valleys, vines and vales
  • Country life Sublime food and wine

A breezy road-trip north-east of the capital of South Australia (take the scenic route via the Adelaide Hills), the Barossa Valley dukes it out with NSW’s Hunter Valley for bragging rights as the most celebrated grape-growing region in Australia.

The patchwork valley hillsides sustain more than 80 vineyards, producing over a fifth of Australia’s wine – mostly big, ballsy reds. A distinct local foodie culture has evolved alongside the drinkables, with cool cafés and sexy restaurants extolling regional fare with a doff of the cap to the valley’s Germanic heritage. Fleeing religious persecution, Lutheran immigrants came to the Barossa in 1842, bringing with them hardy vine cuttings. Historic stone-wall towns like Tanunda, Bethany and Angaston are infused with Teutonic tastes: admire gothic church steeples and brass band festivals and rifle through food stores for smoked wurst, pretzels and sauerkraut. Guten appetit!

Do go/Don’t go

Summer in the Barossa (December to February) can be hot and heaving with visitors: better to time your trip during autumn (March to April) when the grapes are being harvested, the days are fresher and the nippers are back at school.

Getting thereView map

  • Planes The Barossa is a one-hour drive (on a good day) north of South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide. Domestic flights from all other Australian capitals and many regional centres fly into Adelaide’s international airport (www.aal.com.au).
  • Automobiles The Barossa is compact – 25 kilometres end-to-end – but you’ll need a motor to get there and access back-road cellar doors and townships off the main tourist trail. Hire a car at Adelaide airport or in the city itself, where all the major rental brands are represented.
  • Taxis Barossa Taxis (0411 150 850; www.barossataxis.com.au) operates around the clock, and has two nine-seater taxis if you're travelling en masse. Barossa and Light Cab Service (08 8563 3631) also runs a 24-hour service throughout the valley. A cab from Tanunda to Angaston costs around AU$20.